Birmingham has benefited from the 459 loop around the southern perimeter of our city. It saves time, allowing travelers to bypass downtown traffic. It has also made the suburban areas south of the city into some of the fastest growing, most prosperous areas of our state. The Northern Beltline could do the same for the areas north of Birmingham.
Why would anyone appose it?
JobKeeper Alliance, a job-focused nonprofit organization is concerned that the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) will try to use a federal lawsuit the group filed over 30 months ago to block the start of construction on the Northern Beltline, which Governor Robert Bentley ® has recently announced will begin in early 2014.
JobKeeper Alliance has been a vocal supporter of the job-creating highway project. On Wednesday JobKeeper announced that it believes SELC filed the lawsuit to delay the project while the law firm and Black Warrior Riverkeeper attempted to erode public support for the Northern Beltline through an aggressive PR campaign focusing on the cost of the project.
Roger McCondichie, mayor of Brookside, says that the future comes with an important number: 422. The new Interstate 422 —the proposed Northern Beltline highway— will include an exit for Brookside.
Without the Interstate Highway System, America would be a less prosperous, less safe and less comfortable place to live.
This study looks at the first 40 years of the System and calls it “The Best Investment A Nation Ever Made.”
Taken from the executive summary:
The Dwight D. Eisenhower System of Interstate and Defense Highways is in place and celebrating its 40th anniversary, must surely be the best investment a nation ever made.
- It has enriched the quality of life for virtually every American.
- It has saved the lives of at least 187,000 people.
- It has prevented injuries to nearly 12 million people.
- It has returned more than $6 in economic productivity for each $1 it cost.
- It has positioned the nation for improved international competitiveness.
- It has permitted the cherished freedom of personal mobility to flourish.
- It has enhanced international security.
Coalition for Regional Transportation Op-Ed Column – The Birmingham News
Your readers were recently treated to a classic propaganda piece trashing the Northern Beltline funded by the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC), an activist group of lawyers well known in our area for cloaking their anti-growth agenda beneath a veneer of environmentalism.
Now that we have finally reached the point in the process at which construction of the first segment of the much-needed Beltline (future I-422) is about to start, the SELC and its allies are desperate to do anything they can to slow down or even stop this vitally important project. They know that losing this battle is tantamount to losing the war. Their solution: a “study” from an out-of-state firm—the Ochs Center—notorious for mischaracterizing data to support the claims of anti-growth clients like SELC.
The Internet is replete with instances in which the Ochs Center has used speculative and highly flawed analysis in an attempt to discredit development projects and discourage economic growth and development.Read more